Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts
It's the return of Saturday Night's Main Event and what better way to kick things off than with a two-part series on the birth of one of wrestling's last true superstars (aside from The Rock): Stone Cold Steve Austin.
You see, Austin wasn't always the foul-mouthed, beer-swilling bad ass he is/was today. No sir, poor Austin actually used to go by another much less threatening moniker, The Ringmaster. Debuting in the WWF in the mid 90s after few years in both the WCW and ECW, Austin was initially introduced as a member of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation and even carried the honorary Million Dollar Championship for a short while. That is until a few months later when Austin "threw" a match against Savio Vega which resulted in the expulsion of DiBiase and marked the first stepping stone on the road of the "rattlesnake."
That brings us to tonight's match up which took place about a year later at 1996's King of the Ring elimination contest. It was the first time Austin began to use his trademark finishing move, the Stone Cold Stunner and to great effect against his competition in the event. Having made it past the semi-finals, Austin would go on to meet a "reformed" Jake The Snake Roberts at the final bout. Roberts at the time was just making his short-lived return to the WWF as a born-again Christian and his Bible-thumping gimmick proved to be just the right catalyst that Stone Cold needed to make his mark with his infamous catchphrase: "Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass!"
Check out this tide turning event (see above) and stay tuned next Saturday for the beginning of The Attitude Era as Stone Cold squares off against Bret The Hitman Hart!